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BLM Carrying Out Extensive Reforestation Project In McKenzie River Corridor

Photo provided by Jennifer O'Leary
Bureau of Land Management

A multimillion dollar effort is underway across the McKenzie River Corridor, to replace burnt acreage from last September’s Holiday Farm Fire. 

More than 173,000 acres were consumed by the fire, which charred the landscape as well as communities like Blue River.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Becca Brooke of the Bureau of Land Management, near the Delta Campground site.

About a mile from the Holiday Farm Fire’s flashpoint,  Becca Brooke of the Bureau of Land Management surveys the terrain.  Small green sprouts are emerging from the black earth in many areas. 

Brooke said that’s nature rebounding, but the BLM is also growing seedlings for a reforestation effort that’ll last five to ten years.

“On BLM lands during the Holiday Farm Fire, we had about 18,000 acres that burned," said Brooke.

"And of that we’ll reforest 14,000 acres, so we usually plant 200 acres per year.  And into the future, we’re looking at 3,000 acres a year., so it’s a huge increase in our reforestation efforts following this fire.”

The estimated expense is $10 million to $15 million.

Credit Bureau of Land Management / Flickr.com
The Walter. H. Horning Tree Seed Orchard outside Portland, which has provided trees for roughly 50 years. The BLM and partners have planted seeds to reforest areas with Douglas-fir, western white pine, sugar pine, western hemlock, western redcedar, and noble fir that will provide shade, recreation, and timber.

Copyright 2021, KLCC. 

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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